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Monday, February 2, 2015

Interstellar: Being in Love as a Black Hole

As difficult as it is to grasp the nature of a black hole and its all-consuming gravity, Interstellar (2014) also traces the powerful yet mysterious gravitational pull of human love, including that utterly unfathomable condition we know as “being in love.” We fall in love, which is an expression that presupposes gravity. Yet such all-consuming attachment may not even in principle have as its object our species itself. Even falling in love may be dangerous—just look at Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The full essay is at “Interstellar.”

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ethical Leadership and Wealth: A Buddhist Perspective

According to Gunawardana (1979:170):"The Buddhist tradition placed great emphasis on the importance of the king as a leader of men. The stability of the social system as well as the proper functioning of the whole universe depend on the conduct of the king".   This essay describes two ideal leadership types, the Cakkavatti and Bodhisattva kings, from the Buddhist literature.  Each of these Buddhist kings will be shown to have unique ethical approaches to the issue of wealth.  Following a general discussion of wealth from the Buddhist perspective, the Cakkavatti and Bodhisattva  leadership types will be argued to capture the process of wealth generation and distribution, respectively, together providing a complete ethical approach to wealth. Thus, a particular leader may enact a particular mix of these two ideal leadership types to formulate a comprehensive ethical approach to wealth.

Material from this essay has been incorporated into The Essence of Leadership: A Cross-Cultural Foundation, which is available in print and as an ebook at Amazon. 

Spirituality in Leadership: Rudolf Otto's Numen as the Object of Charisma

There is a transcendent quality to charisma which eludes those scholars, but can be incorporated in terms of Rudolf Otto's (1957) Idea of the Holy. In his inquiry into the non-rational factor in the idea of the holy(the numen), Rudolf Otto (1957) characterizes several inter-related feeling-responses to its object, the numen.  In basing these responses on the object of the holy rather than in the perceiver, Otto distinguishes these feeling responses from mere psychological and sociological occurrences, based in the subjective experience of the person rather than in the object itself.  There is thus posited to be a non-rational quality to the holy transcending self and society yet applicable to the human realm.  Charisma, too, has such a dimension, as evidenced by a residual of religiosity language even amid the modern behavioral studies which tend to assume that charisma is strictly a function of the follower's perception.

The full essay is at "Charismatic Leadership."